How can there be any Gospel in the book of Esther? God isn’t even mentioned in the Book of Esther. Yes, it’s true, no where in this book is there a reference to God. But is God absent?
Esther is a prime example of a section of the Bible that should not be read a chapter a day, but all of it read at one sitting. It is filled with high drama – raw power, murderous plots, great sacrifice, extreme courage, and … ultimately illustrative of the Gospel.
Her Hebrew name was Hadasseh, an orphaned girl among the Jewish exiles, raised by her older cousin, Mordecai. The Persian king, Xerxes, deposed Queen Vashti for refusing to appear when summoned. The story that follows is an ancient version of today’s television series, The Bachelor, except that Esther didn’t have a choice but to participate. She was virtually a sex slave, one of the beautiful young virgins for the king, each of them prepared for a night with the king to “try out” for being named as the new queen. Ultimately, Esther was chosen and became the new queen.
Meanwhile, Modecai discovered a plot against Xerxes and reported it, saving the king’s life. Haman, a high official, was offended when Mordecia refused to bow before him, and hatched a plot for the extermination of the Jews, not knowing that Esther was a Jew. You have to read the story for the details, but ultimately, at the risk of her life, Esther approached Xerxes when she had not been summoned, a daring and risky move, and appealed for the life of her people, exposing Haman’s plot.
The most memorable line of the story is Mordecai’s appeal to Esther to risk her life for the sake of her people, And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this? 4:14
Even though God is not named, it is obvious that both Mordecai and Esther appeal to God for his favor as they both call those around them to a period of fasting, so that God will grant favor to Esther in approaching the king.
Esther became the intercessor, even willing to sacrifice her own life for the sake of her people, thus a picture of Christ, who became the sacrifice for sinners, delivering us from certain eternal destruction for our sin. Jesus took our sin upon Himself and thus saves us for eternity.